Friday, July 10, 2015

Nostalgic Box Break: 1994 Topps Stadium Club Series 1 (Part One)

This is a post that I started back in February. A rip that should have been posted so long ago...but I'm just getting around to posting today. Kind of sums up the busy year I've been having.

I've ripped Series 2. I've ripped Series 3. Now, all that remains for the 1994 Stadium Club set is Series 1, which contains the dregs of the 1993 season, and a bunch of guys who were still in their 1993 uniforms.

Whatever. It's been so long. I'm ripping it anyway.

24 packs. 12 Today. 12 tomorrow (or whenever I get around to posting the next half)

Let's dive in:

Pack 1:
Cards I need: 12/12
Cards of Guys that were huge stars in 1994: 2/12 (Palmeiro and Justice)
Cards of guys that were huge stars in 1984 : 1/12 (Wallach

Nice to get a Philadelphia Phillie in our first pack. Remember, in 1994 the Phillies were huge because they'd gotten to the World Series for the first time in a decade. So, there are a lot of cards of them in this set.
Also, Luis Alicea is in the midst of a double play.

Three really big stars circa 1994. Palmeiro had just been shipped to Baltimore, but he was still hitting home runs in Arlington in the photo. O'Neill would be a fixture in the Bronx for a while. Justice was coming off a bunch of great hitting seasons.

Tim Wallach's card has always been a favorite of mine, against the fence, and with the patch. Pugh's is pretty nice too, with an autograph shot.

Pack 2:
Cards I needed: 12/12
Rookie Cards of decent pitchers: 1/12
Subjects of 1981 media frenzies: 1/12 (Fernando)

Dan Plezac's card is really weird. I feel like the photographer was trying to do something with filters and exposure, and it didn't go 100% the way he planned. Not sure if this is a great card or not.
Reggie Sanders is being congratulated by his teammates.

Meanwhile, from the looks of this card, Andy Tomberlin is slamming his name into place, like it's a Lego brick or something. Either that of he wants it to go down a little.

Fernando Valenzuela's career was winding down, but he was still hanging in there with the Orioles in 1994.
Mike Hampton, who may have been on the DL more than he was on the field back there, saddles up for Seattle.

And in the meantime, here are two guys who were great players in 1994 but sort of lost their mojo in the 00's. Justice's main claim to fame was that he was in Moneyball.

Pack 3-
Cards I need: 12/12
Hall of Famers: 1.66/12
Stars of 1987: 2/12 (Mattingly and Davis)
Stars of 1997: 1/12 (Burnitz)

In this Topps Trios card are Paul Molitor, John Olerud, and Roberto Alomar. Only Olerud is not a Hall of Famer. He is, however, a member of the Hall of Very Good.
Don Mattingly kneels onfield, waiting to regain feeling in his knees again.

I had to check if Eric Davis' card was off center, but as it turns out this is how the card is supposed to be. Weird.

Tim Salmon, fresh off his 1993 ROY victory, has a nice at the plate shot, and Roberto Alomar has an even cooler running shot.

Kent Hrbek's shot is just zoomed out enough, allowing enough detail, and giving room for the umpire.
Jeromy Burnitz is warming up against the bleachers. I forgot he came up with the Mets.

Pack 4-
Doubles: 1/12
Cards I need: 11/12
Hall of Famers (by this time next year): 1/12
Multiple Exposure shots: 1/12
Stars of Little Big League: 2/12 (Tettleton and Griffey were both in it. Hell, Griffey was one of the villains!)

You want perfection in a single card? Check this one out. This belongs in an art gallery.

Not as good as Manwaring's but good. On the heels of a double play.

Wonderful shot of Albert Belle in (supposedly) mid-HR-shot

Mickey Tettleton, in his last season with Detroit, looks on.
Ken Griffey Jr. hits a nice shot, in one of his many amazing seasons in Seattle.

Pack 5-
Doubles: 1/12
Cards I needed: 10/12
Inserts: 1/12

Lampkin's is a nice 'dust-clearing' shot. Dibble's is a great pitching rotation shot.

The lighting is what makes these cards great, especially Darrin Fletcher's. The light is on the foreground as well as the back, and makes it quite dramatic.

Our two highlights. Ron Gant had a nice home-run hitting year in 1993, so he's part of the HR Club subset. The Mets are my 'Super Team' insert, which come 1 per box, and are mail in sweepstakes-ish things. The downside's the 1993 Mets. Oh well. Least it looks kind of cool.

(No Group Shot for Pack 6)
Henry Rodriguez holds a bat in his graceful, blue-heavy shot.

Meanwhile, Arthur Rhodes points to the sky, seeing the DNA-altering meteorite that will allow him to pitch for seventeen more seasons without anybody noticing.

Greg Gagne is in the process of tagging out Andre Dawson. For Dawson's sake, let's hope he misses.

Another Griffey, another nice shot.
Harold Baines warms up in Baltimore, as part of a wonderful photograph.

Pack 7:
Cards I needed: 10/12
Doubles: 2/12
Hall of Famers: 2/12
Stars of the 1990 World Series: 3/12
People who should be in the Hall of Fame: 1/12 (Bagwell)

Chili Davis, a DH we were glad to have in the late 1990's, at BP.
Todd Hundley, former 'sorry, we're out of Mike Piazza but we do have...' recipient, in a nice catching shot.

A very nice dusty action shot of Tim Teufel.

Jeff Bagwell, who, as I've said a million times, deserves eventual recognition into Cooperstown. Will Clark doesn't deserve that honor as well, but he was a pretty nice player.

Matt Williams has a World Series ring. If he doesn't get another one with Washington then, to quote Russell Hantz, 'there is a flaw in the game'.
Dennis Eckersley, one of the greatest closers to walk the earth.

This, I think, is the crowning achievement of this pack. Rich Gossage is a legendary closer and a Hall of Famer. I don't think too many cards exist of him in an Athletics uniform, so the fact that this one does, AND it's a really nice shot, makes me feel really nice.

Pack 8-
Cards I need: 9/12
Doubles: 3/12
'93 Phillies: 2/12
Double-Sport Sensations: 1/12

A very nice shot of Len Dykstra sliding. If I were Topps, I would have zoomed back a bit, get his arm in the shot. Scott Hemond's shot is pretty nice too, but I wish I knew who he was.

Sheaffer's card is zoomed back far enough that is resembles classic Topps. Butler's is new-age Topps by far, down to the detail on the dirt.

Three people who were pretty big in the 90's. Montgomery was a big closer. Fielder was a big hitter. Bo was a big disappointment.

And of course, Gary Sheffield is here to save the day and/or add some class to this pack.

Pack #9-
Cards I need: 8/12
Doubles: 5/12
Snazzy Inserts: 1/13
Cooke's is a nice pitching shot. Bosio's seems a bit sad, like he's tossing a ball, asking 'why won't anyone come and play with me?' Kevin Baez' is a very cool double play shot.

Best photo of the pack. Mike Bordick making a very swift play at second.

Our FIRST DAY ISSUE insert is one of Dave Hollins, a perennial Philadelphia Phillie, and a member of that classic 1993 team. These are one-per-box, and this was a relatively nice one.

Pack #10-
Cards I needed: 9/12
Doubles: 3/12
Hall of Famers: 1/12
Should-Be Hall of Famers: .333/12

A nice catcher shot for Haselman, and an even better wide, unfocused shot for Gilkey.

Ron Karkovice, the White Sox catcher known for so many great Stadium Club cards, has a very nice 'chasing a foul' shot.

B.J. Surhoff, who looks a hell of a lot like a family doctor I have, stares blankly at the camera, bat in hand.

The Topps Trios insert is of Gant, Justice and McGriff. All three are great players, though Fred McGriff is one I'll collect in literally any uniform. Albert Belle has a nice shot in a really cool 50's throwback, surrounded by players.
The highlight here is George Brett's 'Sunset' card, which is really well lit, and has enough detail to make it really, really nice.

Pack #11-
Cards I needed: 8/12
Doubles: 4/12
Should Be Hall of Famers: 1/12
Really, Really Awkward Shots: 1/12

Highlight here is Tim Naehring's fielding shot.

Don Slaught and Tony Pena give two really nice shots to punctuate a bored-looking Pedro Borbon.

Three heavy-hitters of the 90's. Piazza, Klesko, and a rookie of Cliff Floyd.

Pack 12:
Cards I need: 7/12
Doubles: 5/12
Doug Strange's card is so fun looking. It looks like he's some circus act, jumping base-runners. Buechele is a good outfield grab shot.

Two highlights for a mostly-blah pack. An Expos card of the indestructible Denny Martinez, and an early-career shot of a sliding Luis Gonzalez.

I will try to have the next half up soon, but remember how long the first half took to post. I'll try to get some of the boxes I've ripped that have been backlogged up sometime soon.


  1. Bo is more an injured disappointment. Because when he was healthy, he was scary on the diamond. Without that hip struggle, he could have been a possible two building HOFer.

    1. yeah. I meant that the whole injury was a disappointment. Great player, no doubt.

  2. Cool nostalgic box break. Surprised at the amount of doubles in your packs... but not as surprised as seeing Fernando in an Orioles uniform.